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How to make XO sauce (XO 酱) – a comprehensive guide

XO sauce is the most valuable Cantonese condiment, made with expensive ingredients with an intense savory flavor concentrated from dried scallop, Jinhua ham, and dried shrimps. Most people buy their XO Sauce, which is expensive. In addition, you have to settle with a toned-down flavor than the homemade type that uses higher quality ingredients. If you make it yourself, you can enjoy a fraction of the cost.

This video will show you how to make it at home.

(Please download the recipe and read the full details at )

Ingredients A
150g dried scallop
100g Jinhua ham
100g dried shrimp
600ml vegetable oil
Ingredients B
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
Ingredients C
200g shallot
60g garlic
3 large red chili
2 tbsp chili powder

1. Soaking and steaming
– Soak the dried scallop overnight. Then, steam for 45 minutes to soften the scallop. Remove and let it cool. Next, shred each dried scallop into the individual fine strips.
– Cut the Jinhua ham into half-inch thick slices and steam together with the dried scallop. Then cut the ham into small dice.
– Soak the dried shrimp for fifteen minutes. Drain the dried shrimp and then chop it into the size of rice grains.
2. Deep-frying
– Heat the oil to about 150°C/300°F.
– Start with deep-frying the scallop, Jinhua ham, and dried shrimp one after another. Remove each one before deep-fry the next one. Each of them should be deep-fried until slightly golden, slightly crispy, and dry.
– Cut the shallot and the garlic into small dice.
– Cut the red chili into small pieces and remove the seeds.
– Add the shallots to the oil and deep-fry for about five minutes, then add the garlic and continue until the color turns golden. Next, add the red chilies and fry for another minute, then turn off the heat.
3. Season the sauce
– Place the fried scallop, ham, and shrimp in a pan. Season them with Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and leftover extract after steaming the ham and scallop.
– Bring it to a boil and mix well. Now pour it back to the wok and mix with the fried shallot, garlic, and chilies.
– Add some chili powder if you like it spicy.
– Continue to simmer it over low heat until all the water has evaporated.
– The XO sauce is ready!

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